ILP Final Celebration
After spending two weeks in India and enduring many orientations before and after the trip, the end has finally arrived. On October 14, 2010, the International Leadership Program held its final ceremony for the students of their first trip to India. Complete with pictures, food and music the night was a sure success.
Traditional Tibetan and Indian food were served while parents, students and program supporters mingled with each other. The dessert in particular brought back memories of that final night in India as we all filled ourselves up on gulab jamun, a round, doughnut-like dessert. During the ceremony we shared this dessert with our parents while watching a slideshow of pictures and telling the stories behind each one.
The ceremony began as one of the group leaders, Bob Lesser, thanked all the parents for allowing their children to initially go on the trip and recognizing all those who have helped make this program possible. He was then followed by a speech by Jazzmin, a student on the trip, who spoke about her struggle to convince her parents to allow her to experience India and how her outlook has changed due to it. Shah then reminisced about our first night in Dharamsala when he and Peter-la struggled to open a pot of momos and how that experience was a metaphor for the entire trip.
After, we were all surprised with a clip of Erika's documentary about our trip:
Although it was only a short teaser, there was a powerful feeling involved with watching ourselves on a big screen. We are all now excited to see how the rest of the film turns out!
We were also surprised with a YouTube video of Peter-la! He spoke about how he felt the trip went, how much he missed us and how he's doing now. He was also wearing Bob's hat! He's too cool!
In the end we received certificates of completion along with the letters we wrote to ourselves on the plane ride home. It definitely was a heartfelt ceremony and a great end to the life changing program.